Talking about travel problems, Frida Kahlo, Think of a word beginning with '...', Kazakhstan, 'How green are you?', the word 'like', neutral and informal words

Elementary Podcasts
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Task 1

Section 1 - Conversations in English

I've had a nightmare journey– arriving late

Section 1 is based on the Introduction. This section looks at how to talk about arriving late because of problems when travelling.

Suggestion: One way to do this section is:

  • Download the Support Pack and Transcript.
  • Read the Transcript.
  • Look at the Support Pack, where you can read Tom the Teacher's tips and also find some useful words and phrases for this section.
  • Do the exercises below to help you to learn the common phrases.
  • If possible, practise these common phrases with a friend who speaks English or is also learning English.

Practice materials: Exercise 1

Talking about a nightmare journey: gapfilling activity.


Practice materials: Exercise 2

Please download the Support Pack for more practice materials.

Task 2

Section 2 - I'd like to meet...

Section 2 is based on someone talking about somebody or something they like. It helps you to practise speaking for a little bit longer – for example, when you're explaining something, or telling people something about yourself.

Suggestion: The best way to practise is with a friend who speaks English or is also learning English. However, if you can't find someone, you can send us a paragraph in English.

You listened to Vanessa talking about Frida Kahlo.

Can you think of an artist that you’d like to meet?

If you can think of someone, make some notes to answer the questions that you can find in the Support Pack. Now put your notes together to write a paragraph about that person and add it as a comment below.

Task 3

Section 3 - Quiz

Section 3 is based on the Quiz. This helps you to learn the meaning of new words and how to remember them.

Suggestion: You can write your answers in our Support Pack.

You might want to use a notebook or part of your folder to make your own word lists and maps.

The quiz in this podcast is called ‘Beginning with…’ – for example, ‘think of an animal beginning with "P"’ – the answer could be ‘polar bear’ or ‘pig’ for example – there are lots of possibilities. Playing this game is a good way to revise and learn new vocabulary. 

Practice materials: Exercise 1

To do an activity in which you fill in the names of things beginning with different letters on a diagram you will need to download the Support Pack.

You can play ‘Beginning with…’ by yourself, or with a friend.  To see some ideas, please see the Support Pack.

Task 4

Section 4 - Our Person in...

Section 4 is based on 'Our Person in...'. It helps you to listen to other people speaking for a little longer than they speak in a conversation, like a radio or television news report. When people prepare written reports, they are often a little more formal, and use more complex words and structures.

You listened to Rebecca talking about Kazakhstan.  She talks about the geography of the country and its capital city.  She also talks about a traditional occupation – the berkutchy.
Can you say something about the geography of your country?  And its capital city?  Is there a traditional occupation that you can talk about?

Suggestion: Download the Support Pack and read the notes to help you to think of things to say, and the best order to say them. Make your own notes and then join these together to make a paragraph in the comments section below.

Task 5

Section 5 - Your turn

Section 5 is based on 'Your Turn'. It helps you to listen and understand people giving their opinions.

In Your Turn you heard 5 people answer this question: ‘How green are you?’
What about you?  What do you do to help the environment?  Do you do a lot? Or do you think that you should do more?  Or maybe you think that being green is a waste of time.

Suggestion: Download the Support Pack and look at the phrases that the people use. Sometimes they don't use complete sentences. Write down notes and then say what you think.

Write a list of all the things that you do (or don’t do) to help the environment - and why. Then make your list into a paragraph and send it to us. Do this in the comments section below.

Task 6

Section 6 - Carolina

Section 6 follows Carolina – a girl who has come to the United Kingdom (UK) to live, study, and to have fun exploring a different country and culture. Listening to this can help you if you find yourself in a similar situation. You will see that there is often more than one way of saying the same thing in English.

Suggestion: listen to Carolina's conversations at the 'Societies Bazaar' and then do the exercises.

Practice materials - Exercise 1

Put the phrases in the correct places in the conversation.


Practice materials - Exercise 2

Choose all the phrases that are correct.


Practice materials - Exercise 3

Please download the Support Pack for more practice materials.

Task 7

Section 7 - Joke

Section 7 is a joke. A joke is normally a funny story you hear and tell someone else. But you can also describe funny things that happen to you. The most important thing is to watch your friends to see if they are enjoying the story or not – then you can make it longer or shorter.

Suggestion: We suggest you do this:

  • Listen to the joke.
  • Do Exercise 1, in which you put the lines in the right order.
  • Do Exercise 2, in which you tell the joke.
  • Think of a funny story that you know. Write down the most important words in English (use a dictionary?). Then try telling the joke.

Practice materials - Exercise 1

Read sentences and put them in the right order to tell the joke.


Practice materials - Exercise 2

Download the Support Pack. Look at the notes and tell the story without looking at the script.

Task 8

Section 8 - Tom the Teacher

Section 8 is Tom the Teacher. These are more traditional exercises. They look at being accurate in English, and often use the type of exercises you may find in English tests and exams.

Practice materials - Exercise 1

Read the questions and decide if the word 'like' is a verb or a preposition.


Practice materials - Exercise 2

Choose the best sentences to complete short dialogues.


Practice materials - Exercise 3

Match neutral words to informal words.





About what do I do to save the planet, well, I don’t do very much. Like Ravi said it’s quite difficult. I think if there was a possibility to use organic bags instead of plastic ones I think I would use but the Ecological politics is my country is so weak that we almost don’t use organic bags.

Hi LearnEnglish team, I think there is missing a word in Section 5, page 3 when Ravi says: “… Like ‘I’ use public transport”. So the ‘I’ is missing. Thank you.

Hi filipeanttonio,

Thank you for pointing this out to us, and well done for spotting it! I have edited the page and it should now be correct.

Thanks again,



The LearnEnglish Team

You are welcome. It's a pleasure.

Actually I don't think much about ecology, but I do those good things you talked about for another reasons. I grow vegetables without chemicals in our kitchen garden because I really care for health of members of my family. Also we (my husband and me) always sort the rubbish: paper and carton, organic waste, plastic, metal, glass and so on. We on our own may use some of this stuff once more to another purposes. We prefer furniture, clothing etc, which were made of natural materials because it's safely. We use energy-efficient appliances and lamps and don't use gas at all for saving. And we intend to set up solar panels in the future.

Hello British Council
I have a doubt about the pronunciation of the sentence "I always try to remember" voice 1 in section 5. It sounds like " I was truas remember". Why is it pronounced so strangely?

Hello Matheus do Santos,

The pronunciation in the recording is correct and is a good example of natural connected speech.

When we speak quickly some words are weak and the word 'to' in this sentence is an example of this. Instead of saying /tu:/ we make it weak and say /tƏ/, and this changes the rhythm of the sentence.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you for the answer Peter M

commonly the solutes and particles are redeposited in the lower parts of the soil profile, creating illuvial or enriched horizons
sir , in this example after comma ing is used with create so what is the logic behind the ing form usewith create

Hello vikranta,

The phrase beginning with 'creating' in this sentence is a participle clause expressing a result. In other words, the solutes and particles being redeposited creates illunvial horizons.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team